“Troubling Signs” for GOP: Loeffler Faces Rough Week as Perdue Admits “Georgia Is In Play”

May 1, 2020

New polling confirms weak position for Georgia Republicans after Loeffler faces more GOP defections and Perdue caught admitting Georgia is competitive

ATLANTA — This week made it more clear than ever that, to quote a vulnerable Republican senator, “The state of Georgia is in play.” 

Unelected “political mega-donor” Senator Kelly Loeffler is facing even more GOP defections after her opponent, top Trump ally Congressman Doug Collins, received his first statewide endorsement this week and a major pro-Trump super PAC began a “seven figure” ad campaign against her. And to make matters worse, Loeffler’s husband was caught bragging about how their company “does well and generates outsized profits during times of stress” — even as over one million Georgians are now facing unemployment in this public health crisis.

Senator David Perdue didn’t fare much better this week after he admitted in a private conference call that “Georgia is in play” thanks in part to an “influx of new Democrats” in the state. His assessment of his party’s own chances was so bleak that Republican National Committeewoman Ginger Howard admitted that “the truth hurts” after his grim forecast. 

But new Republican internal polling numbers leaked today back up Perdue’s worries: the party’s own polling shows Loeffler significantly underwater while Perdue himself is facing a tight race despite his backing from shady outside groups.

With internal polling numbers like these and party infighting growing all over the state, it’s no wonder the GOP’s own officeholders are beginning to push the panic button as the state becomes “more competitive each day.”

Read the latest coverage about Republicans’ growing problems in Georgia:

AJC: Internal GOP poll points to troubling signs for Georgia Republicans

  • An internal poll conducted for the Georgia House GOP Caucus points to troubling signs for Republican leaders: President Donald Trump is deadlocked with Joe Biden and voters aren’t giving the White House, Gov. Brian Kemp or the Legislature high marks for the coronavirus response.
  • Loeffler is deeper underwater after grappling with an uproar over her stock transactions during the pandemic, with an approval of 20% and disapproval of 47%. Collins’ approval rating is about 10 percentage points higher than his disapproval.
  • Trump and Biden are in a statistical tie in the race for president, with Trump at 45% and Biden at 44%. Only about 5% of Georgians are undecided, and another 6% back a third-party candidate.
  • A majority of voters disapprove of the way Trump (51%) and Kemp (54%) are handling the pandemic. The General Assembly barely breaks even on the question, and many voters signaled they don’t know what lawmakers are doing. 

NY Magazine: Georgia Is Looking Like Trouble for Republicans in November

  • Today, results from a poll commissioned by Georgia House Republicans from the respected Cygnal firm were published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, showing that recent GOP divisions may be undermining the party’s status in a state it’s carried in every presidential election since 1992.
  • Trump, of course, has been all over the place on the question of balancing public health against economic concerns, while Kemp has pretty consistently been inclined to gamble on more infections and deaths if he can protect jobs and profits. The Cygnal poll suggests neither of their acts are going over very well.
  • Internal Republican disarray is indicated by the findings for Kemp’s appointee to the U.S. Senate, Kelly Loeffler, who has gotten a lot of bad publicity over stock sales by her and her Richie Rich husband early in her tenure.
  • Loeffler’s favorable-unfavorable rating is 20-47, even though she’s already running ads and is benefiting from visible support from Mitch McConnell’s PAC and from the conservative Club for Growth.
  • This entire poll is a sign that Georgia Republicans, who have won every Senate and gubernatorial race in the state during the 21st century, are not in great shape as they battle demographic changes that are making Georgia more competitive each day.

CNN: GOP senator gives activists grim 2020 assessment amid fears over holding Senate

  • Sen. David Perdue, a Georgia Republican up for reelection and a close Trump confidant, issued a blunt warning to GOP activists during an off-the-record conference call this week: Democrats are in position to turn his state blue and take the Senate.
  • “Here’s the reality: The state of Georgia is in play,” Perdue said Monday, according to an audio recording of a call with “Women for Trump” obtained by CNN. “The Democrats have made it that way.”
  • Already facing the prospect of defending the Senate with an unpopular Republican president in an election cycle with more seats to defend than to target, Republicans are up against a bevy of well-funded Democratic challengers and are now navigating a public health and economic crisis that has injected deep uncertainty into the national political landscape.
  • Republicans are particularly concerned that the intraparty battles in Kansas and Georgia, two states Trump carried in 2016, could make it easier for Democrats to gain the three seats they need to take back the Senate if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the presidency since the vice president breaks a 50-50 tie.
  • “We have had our wake-up call in Georgia,” Perdue said, detailing the state’s recent electoral history of increasingly tight races. Perdue said he needs to win “twice the number of votes” than he did in his 2014 campaign to keep his seat due to the influx of new Democrats in Georgia.


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